Saturday, May 31, 2014


Happy Friday everyone! I had a super busy one today. Workout/OTH this morning, a full day of work with some video editing and meetings, ran to an audition at lunch, and then headed straight to the airport to catch my flight to Albany. I have so much to say though (Who me? Verbose?) that instead of taking my normal homeless woman nap with my mouth open on the plane, I'm catching up with you instead. Gotta love laptops.

So this week was a biggie for our wedding prep and I'm so excited to have crossed an important item off of our list--We ordered our invitations. It's official, after several rounds of proofs with Invitations by Dawn we gave the final approval today and sent them on to the printer. Eeeee so nerve-wracking!

Though we originally ordered them last week, we did a little something special to make the invitations a little more 'us'.

As you may or may not know, Josh designed our save the dates. By hand. From scratch. Oh yeah, he does graphic design in addition to his filmmaking and photography. I'm marrying such a creative. :)

So after he made the STD post cards in Photoshop, I decided that I also had to learn this fabulous tool and started playing around with some of the STD elements to create us a wedding logo.

You guys, it was so much fun! I think I created about a thousand different logos. Fine five. But it felt like a thousand. The best part was that we were able to use this personal logo on our invitations! I am really proud to have contributed something to our day like this. The STDs were so special because Josh made them by hand after we had talked through and I'd sketched (terribly) some ideas.

After a brief tutorial of Photoshop from Josh (my first few hours were spent cursing at the computer because nothing was working), I decided to use the state of Virginia from our STD as the base of the logo. Josh and I both grew up in VA for most of our lives, we met here, fell in love here, and live here now. I will tell you when I was growing up I never thought I'd come back to the area. But now, it's like I fell in love with the state for the first time. It's just home. And home is always a good place to start.

Then I added a swirly design to match the existing design on the invitation suite and played around with the fonts that Invitations by Dawn could offer that I could also download to use in our logo. We settled on Mahogany Script for the cursive and Copperplate for the print. I love the way it turned out.

Now how does this logo design relate to marriage? Well the final logo looks great, but along the way I would try something then run it by Josh and he would like some parts and not others. My initial reaction was always, "well my way is better," but a large part of me kept reminding me that this is OUR wedding and OUR logo. Not mine. My way is now irrelevant. So is Josh's way. We had to find something that worked for us.

When I would get frustrated making edits, Josh would offer to do a little tweaking and I'd send him over the file. We went back and forth several times and kept changing things back, trying new combinations of initials and date placement, and ultimately we ended up with a logo that makes both of us happy. Not because we both think everything about it is perfect, but because we made it together.

And isn't that marriage right there? It will not be perfect but it will be something we make together. With a lot of effort and careful consideration and hopefully love. Josh and I both have strong opinions - which came to the forefront of this graphic project - but in many cases I just needed to let go of control. Do I really care about single swirl v. double swirl? No. I care about having my voice heard and making sure my future husband feels the same way. What fun is a custom logo if Josh isn't as much a part of it as I am. Or if he let's me do whatever I want but doesn't like the end result.

I don't want a passive partner (and am so lucky he isn't!) because a one-woman show isn't nearly as meaningful as a life created TOGETHER.

I look at our logo with love. We made it together, each with different points, suggestions, times of leadership and times of compromise. I hope we can live out our marriage in the same way, I look forward to carefully working on our life with Josh.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Well team, it happened. I made those eggs last night - even though I cooked them in a totally jankety manner - and then proceeded to leave them out in the pot all night. 

I woke up this morning (after hitting snooze a thousand times) and emerged from my room to find them sitting there. Warm and not refrigerated. So I had canned soup for breakfast. Sorry I'm not sorry. I've been totally digging the Amy's Organic soups brand and just keep several cans in my desk at all times. They are super healthy and delicious so I feel like it was a good decision. 

Other than usual work today, I am proud to report that our invitation proofs finally came in! So excited to tell you more about them (and our logo!) tomorrow but for now here's a sneak peek. The color fits with our pantones (obvi) and we designed the logo on the invitation itself to match these fancy swirlies. We also found a KILLER sale on Invitations by Dawn so we are getting all of our invitations, reply and response cards printed thermographically. Super fancy. And yet, still cheaper than etsy. :)

Tonight I'm heading home to hopefully watch One Tree Hill at the gym, do laundry and pack for Lake George this weekend! Yay. Can't wait to see these beautiful faces

Lastly, I've been doing this crazy thing as part of The May Project where I only wear an item of clothing once this month. So once I've worn it, it's out. Let's just say I ran out of jeans pretty fast so I've been dressing up for work. The goal has been to figure out which items I don't wear so I can sell or donate them. Update of hilarious selfies coming in June. 

Now that we're almost to June I have a ton of cute things to sell to you guys for CHEAP! I'm thinking of just making every item $5 or $10 and capping shipping at $5. Thoughts? Then I saw this on instagram and my brain has exploded. Do you think it works? 

Have you ever bought second hand clothes online?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Can I just say that there is nothing better than coming home after a long day at work (seeing Grandpa on the way) and then plopping on the couch and crossing things off my to-do list. I knocked out our first wedding thank you notes, paid a few bills, and am now watching The Bachelorette while I catch up with you! Win!

Before leaving Iowa on Monday night, my dad and Patti threw Josh and I a wedding shower brunch with our family there. My aunts and cousins are hilarious so we all had a great time. And the food was so yummy! Plus... mimosas. Need I say more?

My sweet, sweet brother and sister-in-law got Josh and I fun light up glasses and a crown to wear during the festivities. Being the ham's we are, we gladly accepted and it provided us with some hilarious entertainment. Thanks Kevin and Kathy!

We dined at Caroline's at the Hotel Julian in Dubuque, IA. Seriously, it was amazing. Ellen was so sweet to share her order with me so I could have sweet and savory. We split an omlettte and french toast. SO GOOD! Caroline's was really yummy and the portions were huge. We were all starving so we liked that. 

If you go, get the fries over the breakfast potatoes. You won't be sorry.

Little Josh and Big Josh were fast friends. Even if Big Josh did have to wear the crown.

P.S. As I'm sitting here on the couch typing this, I hear this hissing noise and I think, "What the heck is that?" Then I remembered, it was my eggs that I was hard boiling. Whooops. No idea if they are done or not. I guess I'll find out tomorrow. ;)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Phew, we made it! Josh and I spent the past weekend in Dubuque, Iowa with my Dad, Patti and Julia and several aunts, uncles and cousins. We flew out, along with Kevin and Kathy to celebrate the memory of my late uncle Dave, and watch Julia graduate high school. 

It was wonderful to be surrounded by family all weekend but after getting home at 1:30am last night, today might be a bit of a struggle at work. I leave you with some adorable pictures of my baby sister on her graduation day. She is just stunning and I can't believe she's off to college in the fall!

We started off the morning by making Julia open her presents from us. With a Tiffany necklace and dress from Josh and me and a new digital camera from Kevin and Kathy, the girl made out like a bandit! Following presents, we kindly let her finish getting ready (I'm sure she'll love that these pictures are up) and headed over to her high school for a Baccalaureate Mass where Julia sang as part of the choir. 

cousin ana, josh, me, patti, julia, dad, kevin, and kathy

In true big sister fashion, I probably took close to 200 pictures and several videos of Julia's big day. She was such a good sport to deal with me and my camera antics but it just seemed too perfect. I had to capture everything. I remember when Julia was born so seeing her walk across the stage as a high school graduate, is unbelievable to me. I'm so proud of her!

After mass, we headed back to Aunt Kathy's house for a graduation luncheon, cupcakes, presents and some awesome decorations. Upon her arrival, Julia was showered with princess grad baubles and then (whoops) was forced to wait outside while we finished decorating. 

Though she wasn't too pleased to wait outside, I think it was worth it when we hilariously sang as she came in and then showered her with love and presents. 

Her graduation pictures were so stunning they looked like they were from a magazine. So why not order a life-size version? :)

Come back for part 2 when we head to actual graduation!!! eeeeee!

Friday, May 16, 2014


HAPPY FRIDAY! I'm excited to share with you today some of my favorite pictures of all time... our engagement shots! 

Josh and I decided on Sam Stroud Photography for our wedding as they are really reasonably priced for the DC area, take gorgeous photos and provide us with all day coverage and two photographers. For our getting ready, Catholic mass, and evening reception the all day option was key in our decision-making process. 

The other bonus was that engagement shots came with our package! Yay!

Josh and I met with our photographer, Lindsey, in Old Town Alexandria on probably the most beautiful Sunday in April. We had 80 degree weather and sunshine. I was in heaven. Though we live in Arlington, VA and are getting married in Fairfax (where I grew up), Alexandria is where we met, became friends, fell in love, and even got engaged. For us it is magical and proved to be the perfect background for our pictures. 

Taking the pictures was hilarious. I didn't realize how nervous I would be but Lindsey was a pro. She talked to us the whole time, helped us pose so that we were both comfortable and didn't look awkward, and made us laugh - for real. 

The whole experience was far more enjoyable than I thought. And the best part is, now we have a relationship with our wedding photographer. When we see Lindsey on our wedding day I will be jumping up and down to see her as a person because I liked her so much. And because her photography rocks of course.

The other bonus - we got all of our images within 48 hours. Fully edited. I'm telling you, I'm obsessed with Sam Stroud Photography. Check out their featured weddings page for a glimpse of their work... oh and to see us make a brief cameo too! ;)

Additional Engagement Shoot details:

Couple's Name: Josh and Maureen
Wedding Date: September 13, 2014
Wedding Location: Clifton, VA
Engagement Shoot Location: Old Town Alexandria, where they met and got engaged
Engagement Shoot Date: April 13, 2014
Photographer: Lindsey from Sam Stroud Photography
Maureen's Hair: Ashley at Dry Bar in Georgetown (Washington DC)
Maureen's Make-up: LaToya Wilson (Make-up trial for wedding day)

Maureen's Style Choices: Striped shirt: Banana Republic (40% off in store) // Midi skirt: H&M // Earrings: Sworovski two years ago (gift from Josh) // Tennis Bracelet: Sworovski (gift from my Aunts) // Green Dress: H&M // Blush Heels: Sole Society (similar) // Blush Necklace: H&M // Blush Bracelet: H&M // Watch: Lucien Piccard via Gilt // Silver Cuff: Williamsburg Artist // Sandals: DSW three years ago (similar and similar) 

Josh's Style Choices: Green Shirt: Banana Republic // Dark Jeans: Banana Republic // Brown Shoes: DSW (similar)

150 days and counting!


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